James Mahony (also spelled Mahoney), painter and illustrator, was born in Cork c. 1810, he son of a joiner. He studied in Rome and became a painter, frequently exhibiting at the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1842. In 1847 he worked as a special artist for the Illustrated London News in West Cork, documenting the famine. His engravings from Clonakilty and Skibbereen, along with the work of other artists like fellow special artist Claude Byrne and painter Daniel MacDonald, led to public pressure on the governmen to take action. He moved to London in 1859, continuing to work for the Illustrated London News and other periodicals. He also illustrated the "Household Edition" of the works of Charles Dickens. He died of apoplexy in London on 29 May 1879.